Negotiating better terms doesn’t have to be scary or hard and if you want to complete every round of negotiations feeling like a winner, you simply must create your own set of negotiating tricks and strategies to help you. Don’t worry, planning your moves and leaving little to chance isn’t cheating, it’s what all successful negotiators do! This post will, therefore, describe some of the widely used negotiation tricks and strategies as well as ways to recognize them and prevent being cheated into accepting terms that are nowhere near your ideal ones.
1. “Poker Face”
Take Lady Gaga’s advice and get one to use every time you want to get a great deal. Buying a used car or closing a deal with your new supplier will go much smoother if you restrain yourself from getting too excited about the product in question. Yes, I know you want it but if you show it too soon, your power to change the terms of negotiation will be significantly diminished. So, keep it cool and leave the excitement for later - once the deal has been made and you’ve managed to negotiate the best possible price and perks, you’ll have plenty of time for expressing your happiness about it. A side note – Don’t use this trick during job interviews as your behavior might be interpreted like you’re not interested in the job.
2. Smart Compromise
Let me tell you something no business man or woman will ever tell you because they have a reputation to maintain – in business, compromising is rarely found in its pure state. All points that could be a subject of compromise are planned ahead and nothing is left to chance. So, in order to leave the room feeling like a true winner, you simply have to add this to your list of negotiation tricks! Buyers, sellers, job applicants… this goes for all of you – you must make a list of all elements and figures you’re willing to see being slightly altered and set a limit or the end value you are ready to settle for while still being happy with the way the negotiations have ended.
3. Awkward Silence
Believe it or not, silence is one of many effective negotiation tricks so, if you are one of the rare ones who actually enjoy making these weird moments even weirder, you’re on a good path of becoming a successful negotiator. As you know, most people tend to avoid the silence by keeping the conversation going at any cost, so, once one side starts expressing something that looks like a “silent disapproval”, the other side may feel the need to keep the negotiations running by offering better terms.
4. Last Minute Perks
Negotiations are nothing more than a polite, non-violent duel – a battle of wills, verbal skills and negotiator’s abilities to make the other side leave the room feeling like a winner. That’s why all good negotiators wait until the last moment to show all of their cards. That moment right before a document is signed is considered to be a critical one for the seller, it’s his moment of weakness and, in it’s the right one to ask for an additional “treat” like free shipping(in case you’re buying goods), free maintenance(for services) or a full tank(in case you’re buying a car). It’s like seeing a perfect pair of shoes during a 50% off sale, trying them on and then realizing they are the only ones not on sale – you simply got to have them. The seller from this story is so close to having your signature all over that dotted line that he simply has to have it and he’ll gladly throw in an extra perk or two, just to finally see it happen!
5. Good Cop – Bad Cop
Having two skilled negotiators trying to scare you and then sweet-talk you into lowering your price to minimum is one of those “bad” negotiating tricks, I personally don’t approve of so I’m going to try to give you some advices on how to avoid this classic “bullying” technique. First of all, don’t let the “bad” negotiator use his position in such unprofessional manner. Negotiations are supposed to be polite and professional so there is no room anger or angry behaviors. Suggesting to meet another day will let the “bully” know it’s time to chill or, you can accept the “sweet talker’s” suggestion to give your best offer, state your case as planned completely ignoring the “bully” and offer them a chance to discuss it with you being outside the room, waiting for their decision.
6. Body Language
You must learn to “put your money where your mouth is” and acknowledge body language as a very important skill in a diverse set of negotiation tricks and strategies! Don’t let your partner in negotiations think he/she can do whatever he/she pleases because you’ll find yourself in the position where nothing you say counts for anything. Use your body, as well as your words to prove a point, persuade the other side into agreeing on something and signalize that your previously set limit has been reached. Collecting your things, putting your pen down or crossing your hands over your chest will show that you’ve said everything you had to say and that your best offer is on the table.
7. Hot Potato
A very famous amongst the negotiation tricks is the one that enables one side to take its problems and hand them over to the other side, forcing that side to find a solution in order for the negotiations to continue. If you are the “other side” you may find yourself feeling trapped and having to settle for terms that are nowhere near satisfying. Well, the trick is to accept the hot potato and return it back just as quick as it was handed to you. If your seller starts the negotiations saying he can’t afford to pay more than a half of your asking price offer to show him a different, more budget-friendly set of products/services and give him his “hot potato” back. If a job interviewer notes that the company you’ve applied to work for isn’t able to give financial compensation for over-time work, don’t let yourself fall into the trap of slaving night and day for free. Suggest some form of non-financial compensation like more days off or extra sick-days and observe your “opponent’s” reaction.
Do you have some of your own negotiation tricks and strategies to suggest? Hope you found these interesting and do feel free to use them next time you’re shopping for a used car or sweating during a job interview. I think knowing these basic negotiation tricks can come very handy even in normal life as it will make you capable of noticing when friends, coworkers or even family members start tossing you hot potatoes you must deal with if you want to see your wish granted.
Top Photo Credit: jean-louis zimmermann